Senators call upon Cambodian government to live up to its commitments to democracy and neutrality
Washington (October 21, 2021) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the East Asia Subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee, and Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today announced a resolution commemorating the landmark Cambodia Paris Peace Agreements. The Agreements, which were agreed to by 19 countries on October 23, 1991, laid the foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, democratic, and sovereign Cambodia after 12 years of a brutal civil war. The resolution notes that the promise of the Paris Peace Agreements remains unfulfilled due to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s violations of Cambodia’s Constitution and effective one-party rule since 1993.
“With this resolution, we commemorate the diplomatic triumph of the Paris Peace Agreements, 30 years after its signing, and acknowledge the work that remains to realize a democratic and sovereign Cambodia,” said Chairman Markey. “It is incumbent that all signatories to the Agreements, led by the United States, work to halt the current assault on democracy by demanding that Prime Minister Hun Sen hold free and fair elections, drop politically motivated charges against political opponents, and respect Cambodia’s constitutional commitment to neutrality. These bedrock principles of the Agreements are worth defending and remain as relevant today as they were three decades ago.”
“The Paris Peace Accords marked the end of decades of violent conflict in Cambodia and set up a framework which would establish an independent Cambodia. As we mark the 30th anniversary of the accords, we urge the Cambodian government to uphold democratic values laid out in that agreement and defend their sovereignty in the region,” said Senator Romney.
“I am grateful to join my colleagues in introducing this critical resolution that demonstrates the United States’ unflinching commitment to the people of Cambodia in their pursuit of peace, prosperity, and democratic governance over the last thirty years and for generations to come,” said Chairman Menendez. “On this anniversary, we honor the values enshrined in the Peace Agreements with a call to our international partners to reaffirm their support for the defense of fundamental freedoms in Cambodia, and urge Prime Minister Hun Sen to halt his authoritarian overreach and oppression of his own people. Three decades later, Cambodians’ future cannot be jeopardized further by attempts to deny fair, multiparty elections, freedom of speech, and other basic rights.”
“As we recognize all that the Cambodian people have done for their country since the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements, we must also acknowledge the goals of the agreement are far from being realized. The Cambodian government continues to engage in arbitrary detentions, restrict free and fair elections, and suppress fundamental freedoms,” said Senator Risch. “Today, I join my colleagues in remembering the Paris Peace Agreements as an important milestone for the Cambodian people, and urging the Cambodian government to implementing its commitments under it.”
A copy of the resolution can be found HERE
The resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that it:
- Remains committed to the Cambodian people and their aspirations for a more peaceful, prosperous, democratic, and sovereign country, as envisioned in the Paris Peace Agreements, with the support of the international community;
- Calls upon all signatories of the Paris Peace Agreements, including Cambodian stakeholders, to reaffirm their commitments under the Agreements and advance the peace, prosperity, rights, and freedoms of the Cambodian people 30 years after their signing; and
- Emphasizes the need for the Government of Cambodia—
- to commit to free and fair multiparty elections in the upcoming communal elections in 2022 and national elections in 2023 as an expression of its commitment to the self-determination of the Cambodian people;
- to uphold its commitments to protecting human rights, democratic institutions, and free and fair elections;
- to dismiss all politically motivated charges, prosecutions, and sentencings of the opposition, journalists, and civil society activists; and to refrain from actions that violate its constitutional commitment to neutrality.